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From Calabar to Carter's Grove : the history of a Virginia slave community /
Lorena S. Walsh.
Charlottesville, Va. : University Press of Virginia, 1997.
xxii, 335 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
0813917190 (cloth : alk. paper)
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Charlottesville, Va. : University Press of Virginia, 1997.
0813917190 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 321-322) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-05-01:
The paucity of resources makes it virtually impossible to reconstruct biographies of individual typical slaves. Therefore, most studies of slavery have relied on broad statistical aggregates to reconstruct slave society. Walsh has gone a step further, focusing on a particular extended community of slaves, at one time numbering more than 300 individuals who lived on various plantations owned by the Burwell family of tidewater Virginia. Although the records do not allow a cohesive tracing of individuals or even families within the group with any degree of certainty, a healthy combination of historical, material, and archaeological evidence permits the author to draw reasonable conclusions about such topics as the African and American origins of the group, family and social connections between plantations, community life on the plantations, the blending of West African and English ways, changes brought by the Revolution, and the effects of dispersal in the 19th century. In drawing these conclusions, however, Walsh frequently relies on general models or theories, testing their applicability to situations suggested by the sparse Burwell records. Still, this "group history approach" provides "a promising middle ground" between the impersonal statistical studies and the few atypical individual accounts that exist. Most promisingly, it infuses in the reader, as other approaches cannot, the important sense of community that without doubt constituted a major element of slave culture. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. J. Puglisi Virginia Intermont College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1998
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introductionp. 1
The York-Gloucester Branchp. 22
The Africansp. 53
The Africans at Carter's Grovep. 81
The Joining of the Two Groupsp. 109
A New Creole Generation and a New Culturep. 134
The Contours of Daily Livingp. 171
Moving Westp. 204
Conclusionp. 220
Bacon and Burwell Slaves, 1692-1719p. 228
Burwell Family Slaves, 1714-1814p. 232
The Formation and Dispersal of Branches of the Carter's Grove Slave Communityp. 265
Notesp. 267
Bibliography of Primary Sourcesp. 315
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 321
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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